By Lenore Fedow
Antwerp—Eurostar Diamond Traders, one of the world’s largest diamond manufacturers, has entered into bankruptcy.

The Antwerp Corporate Court ruled in favor of bankruptcy Thursday.

Prior to that ruling, the Antwerp Court of Appeal had denied the company’s request for a judicial reorganization, according to Belgian newspaper De Tijd.

The appeals court reportedly valued the company’s debt at 500 million euros ($560.4 million) and stated Eurostar had “lost the trust of its main creditors”, which includes ABN AMRO, Standard Chartered Bank, KBC Bank and Bank of India.

Eurostar Diamond Traders did not respond to National Jeweler’s request for comment Monday, but founder and Chairman Kaushik Mehta told Rapaport News that the company will appeal the decision.

The company pointed the finger at its major creditors, ABN Amro and Standard Chartered, accusing the banks of taking an aggressive approach regarding its debts.

ABN Amro did not respond to a request for comment when contacted Monday. Standard Chartered declined to comment on the case.

Founded by Mehta in 1978, Eurostar climbed the ranks to become one of Belgium’s largest diamond companies, setting up shop across the world in Botswana, China, Hong Kong, India, the United Arab Emirates and the United States, according to the company website.

At its height, the company brought in billions of dollars and landed the Mehta family the title of one of Belgium’s wealthiest families, according to De Tijd.

It’s been a rough road in recent years as the company battled a dip in sales and the loss of its status as a De Beers sightholder, which gives a company exclusive access to De Beers’ rough diamonds.

Eurostar had been a sightholder since 1986, but, as of Monday, did not appear on the De Beers’ current list of sightholders.

In its latest annual report, Eurostar cited falling demand for diamonds, especially in Asia, high prices for rough diamonds, and a lack of credit as the reasons behind its struggle, as per De Tijd.

During proceedings in September, Eurostar allegedly claimed its diamonds were worth more than $132 million, but the numbers weren’t quite adding up.

In November, the company reportedly admitted to the court that its diamonds were only worth $25 million, a figure the Antwerp court is still questioning following an evaluation.

The stock was reportedly estimated to be worth only $10 million and not all the stones were owned by Eurostar.

In denying the company’s request to reorganize, the Court of Appeals ruled that Eurostar “no longer has tradable diamonds” and cannot continue to operate.

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